A Republican member of the state House of Representatives is attempting to hold the news media accountable for spreading disinformation.
“The ‘Fact Checker Registration Act’ defines a fact checker as someone who publishes in print or online in Michigan, is paid by a fact-checking organization and is a member of the International Fact Check Network,” according to Detroit News.
The bill is intended to keep “fact-checking” entities, like the Poynter Institute which operates PolitiFact, in check. Those entities are tasked by social media companies like Facebook to stop the spread of “misinformation.” But their critics often accuse them of left-leaning partisanship, which sometimes leads to arbitrary or capricious bans from social media.
“Social media companies deplatform people, politicians, and businesses on the basis of ‘fact checkers’ who relish their roles punishing those whom they deem ‘false,'” Maddock wrote, after alleging in April that fact checkers were largely ‘body-checking conservatives,'” according to Detroit News.
Maddock’s bill would introduce a remedy for those wrongly damaged by such “fact-checking” entities.
The bill would require “fact-checkers” to file proof of a $1 million fidelity bond with the Michigan Secretary of state, and provides legal recourse for those who wish to fight back against Big Tech.
“An ‘affected person’ could bring a civil action in any county district court to claim the bond for ‘any wrongful conduct that is a violation of the laws of this state.’ The bond could be forfeited at the discretion of the judge for ‘demonstrable harm’ stemming from something a fact checker wrote, Maddock wrote,” according to the report.
Maddock also says that his bill would allow for transparency about who is behind the “fact-checking” apparatuses.
For example, the Poynter Institute, Facebook’s “fact-checking” partner, is a nonprofit organization that is notoriously funded by Georg Soros’ Open Society Foundation, among other left-leaning billionaires.
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